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US-based Ionics has introduced a a line of wireless oil spill detectors which use Orbcomm satellite communication and cellular networks to alert operators of oil leaks and spills. The Leakwise WL Oil Sheen Monitoring Systems can detect the presence of as little as 0.3 mm of oil on water and are designed to be installed on-shore near tanks and pipelines and offshore close to oil-tanker buoy terminals, loading jetties and piers.

The floating sensors, which use the latest technology of high frequency electromagnetic energy absorption, are unaffected by dirt/oil coating or by changes in water level, salinity or temperature, says the company.

The offshore detector, ID-227, is mounted on a buoy that is built to withstand extreme sea conditions and maintain the sensor’s position on the water despite fluctuations due to waves or tide. The buoy also contains a solar panel with rechargeable battery, digital signal processor, transceiver for the bi-directional data link and antennas for satellite and cellular communications.

Users can set five field-adjustable alarms, the first when oil is detected, and the other four when the layer has reached a predetermined thickness. The Leakwise ID-221, ID-223 and ID-225 wireless detectors can be installed in sumps and groundwater monitoring wells around tank farms, pipeline pumping stations, fossil and hydroelectric power plants, transformer substations and airports. A satellite sends alarm e-mail messages to users whenever oil is detected with an indication of the oil layer thickness; other messages give regular confirmation that the sensor is ‘alive’ or that the sensor has failed or been taken from the water.

Tel: +1 303 444 2009